The Grand Rapids Griffins, AHL farm club of the Detroit Red Wings, will honor one of their most prolific players on Saturday at Van Andel Arena. The No. 7 jersey of Michel Picard, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, will be raising to the Van Andel Arena rafters during a first-intermission ceremony as the Griffins play host to the Rockford IceHogs.
“I never thought my jersey would be retired in any city I played in,” Picard said. Today he is serving as a scout with the St. Louis Blues. “It’s not something you think about.”
Picard spent separate stints with the Griffins. He was in Grand Rapids from 1998-2000 when the club was a farm team of the Ottawa Senators. Picard returned to play for the Griffins from 2002-04 after the Red Wings took over as parent club in Grand Rapids. Among his teammates were future Red Wings Niklas Kronwall, Jiri Hudler and Brett Lebda.
“It’s been a long journey for sure, a lot of cities,” Picard said. “I started off like a lot of players. A lot of people in my own city didn’t think I was going to make it to the NHL or even be a hockey player professionally. For me, I just wanted to prove them wrong, and I did.
Michel Picard talks about what it means to him to return to GR tomorrow night.
Be here to see his #7 retired! #GoGRG
— Grand Rapids Griffins (@griffinshockey) February 19, 2022
“I won two Calder Cups, ’91 with Springfield and ’94 with Portland, won a Stanley Cup as a scout with the Blues. And now my jersey will be retired.”
Picard joins Travis Richards (No. 24) as Griffins with their jerseys retired. Jeff Hoggan (No. 10) will join them later this season.
Red Wings Clear Vrana For Contact
Out all season since undergoing shoulder surgery during training camp, Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana was given clearance to begin contact drills.
In other news, Detroit was placing forward Gemel Smith on waivers and assigning center Joe Veleno to Grand Rapids.
Around The NHL
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Colorado: Defenseman Erik Johnson is hoping to win a Stanley Cup this season with the Colorado Avalanche. However, his hopes of also capturing the Kentucky Derby are no longer a reality.
Philadelphia: Hired as special assistant to Philadelphia Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher, Daniel Briere is diving in at the deep end as the club readies for the NHL trade deadline.
Vegas: Losers of three straight games, the Vegas Golden Knights are looking like a Stanley Cup contender of late.
Vancouver: Could a Jake DeBrusk for Brock Boeser trade be happening between the Bruins and Vancouver Canucks?